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Linux Instead of Windows

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[quote name='xorangekiller' timestamp='1353447831' post='595337464']
Although I'm a Debian user, I definitely recommend installing Ubuntu 12.04 if you are a new Linux user. Ubuntu is probably the best supported consumer-oriented distro, and the latest long term support release, 12.04, is fast and super stable.

My only other recommendation is not to approach learning Linux by comparing it to the way things work in Windows. It is not Windows. Many things work differently, and that's necessarily not a bad thing. It will just take some time to get familiar with. The Ubuntu forums and wiki are also an excellent source of information when you need to solve problems or learn how things work. The few Linux users who frequent Neowin are be happy to help you as well (or, at least, I am).
[/quote]

These are all good points. I have used Ubuntu for more than five years. 12.04 is a great place to start, and it's got support for the next five years.

If you don't like the Unity desktop, you can go for any other one out there, pretty much. You can experiment with desktops and pick the one that works best for you. There are lots of ways to keep Windows when using Linux, if you need to. I use VMware (I've got heaps of RAM and so I can easily have a Windows virtual machine going and switch back and forth), but there are free solutions out there too. I use OSX at work and I wish I could install it at home as a virtual machine (I know there are ways to do this, but it's against the license).

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[quote name='patseguin' timestamp='1353458585' post='595337936']
Well, I have Mint installed in a VMWare Box. Linux is very difficult to install driver or software on. I had to Google command line commends to ge the nVidia drivers and even that failed somehow because I am now stuck on 640 X 480. I also downloaded Chrome and I found out you can't just double click on a downloaded file to install it. It still seems very advanced and only for the very computer savvy, nowhere near ready for prime time.
[/quote]

None of this is true. If you download chrome from google's website, you get a .deb file which you *do* simply double click and install, Works for me in both mint and ubuntu. In double clicking it opens the ubuntu software center and installs it, in mint it opens gdebi and installs it.

There's also a gui for installing nvidia/ati drivers in ubuntu and mint.
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[quote name='ViperAFK' timestamp='1353466180' post='595338206']
None of this is true. Chrome comes as a deb file which you *do* simply double click and install, Works for me in both mint and ubuntu. In ubuntu it opens the ubuntu software center and installs it, in mint it opens gdebi and installs it.

There's also a gui for installing nvidia/ati drivers in ubuntu and mint.
[/quote]

And pretty much everything you would want to install is also in the Ubuntu Software Center. Chrome is in there, too. (for Ubuntu, that is, just giving an example)

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[quote name='patseguin' timestamp='1353458585' post='595337936']
Well, I have Mint installed in a VMWare Box. Linux is very difficult to install driver or software on. I had to Google command line commends to ge the nVidia drivers and even that failed somehow because I am now stuck on 640 X 480. I also downloaded Chrome and I found out you can't just double click on a downloaded file to install it. It still seems very advanced and only for the very computer savvy, nowhere near ready for prime time.
[/quote]

Although I'm just guessing based on the information you gave, I can probably tell you what your problem is: you are approaching your Mint install as if it were Windows. In Linux, you very rarely want to download software directly from the vendor's website. For example, if I wanted to install the proprietary nVidia driver in Ubuntu, I would install it from the repository using a command like [i]sudo apt-get install nvidia-current[/i] instead of downloading the binary blob from nvidia.com. Similarly, instead of downloading and installing Chrome directly from www.google.com/chrome, I would use [i]sudo apt-get install chromium-current[/i].

As a new user, however, its very unlikely that you prefer typing commands into terminal as I do. Unfortunately, that is something that often turns off new users and gives them the impression that Linux distros are difficult to use. That's not the case at all; its just that more experienced users often prefer CLI to GUI (and terminal commands are far easier and more concise to give over the Internet). In Ubuntu (and probably Mint as well since its Ubuntu based), you can easily search and install software using the Software Center. If you prefer a more powerful graphical interface to the repository, you can also install Synaptic Package Manager and use that instead of, or in addition to, Software Center.

While it may take a little while to get used to, installing software from the repository has several benefits. First, its easy. You don't need to go hunting for software or worry about downloading download.com's download manager just to get your programs. Second, updates are centralized. Instead of needing to use the updaters built into each piece of software you can merely update the repository (which is done automatically once every other day in Ubuntu by default) and install updates. Third, security and program integration are managed by your distribution. Any piece of software in the repository is theoretically guaranteed by the maintainers of your distribution to be secure and work properly with your system. Its a different way of thinking, but it works well (in my opinion much better than the traditional Windows approach) once you adjust to it.

[b]Edit:[/b] Ah, I was too slow again. ViperAFK and Mindovermaster beat me to it.I know is kinda long, but [i]please read my post anyway.[/i]
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[quote name='xorangekiller' timestamp='1353466642' post='595338234']
Although I'm just guessing based on the information you gave, I can probably tell you what your problem is: you are approaching your Mint install as if it were Windows. In Linux, you very rarely want to download software directly from the vendor's website. For example, if I wanted to install the proprietary nVidia driver in Ubuntu, I would install it from the repository using a command like [i]sudo apt-get install nvidia-current[/i] instead of downloading the binary blob from nvidia.com. Similarly, instead of downloading and installing Chrome directly from www.google.com/chrome, I would use [i]sudo apt-get install chromium-current[/i].

As a new user, however, its very unlikely that you prefer typing commands into terminal as I do. Unfortunately, that is something that often turns off new users and gives them the impression that Linux distros are difficult to use. That's not the case at all; its just that more experienced users often prefer CLI to GUI (and terminal commands are far easier and more concise to give over the Internet). In Ubuntu (and probably Mint as well since its Ubuntu based), you can easily search and install software using the Software Center. If you prefer a more powerful graphical interface to the repository, you can also install Synaptic Package Manager and use that instead of, or in addition to, Software Center.

While it may take a little while to get used to, installing software from the repository has several benefits. First, its easy. You don't need to go hunting for software or worry about downloading download.com's download manager just to get your programs. Second, updates are centralized. Instead of needing to use the updaters built into each piece of software you can merely update the repository (which is done automatically once every other day in Ubuntu by default) and install updates. Third, security and program integration are managed by your distribution. Any piece of software in the repository is theoretically guaranteed by the maintainers of your distribution to be secure and work properly with your system. Its a different way of thinking, but it works well (in my opinion much better than the traditional Windows approach) once you adjust to it.

[b]Edit:[/b] Ah, I was too slow again. ViperAFK and Mindovermaster beat me to it.I know is kinda long, but [i]please read my post anyway.[/i]
[/quote]

Downloading chrome right from google gives you a few advantages over chromium though :) (integrated pdf reader, integrated pepper flash, extra html5 codecs)
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ViperAFK, you can still add a repository for it (which I believe the Chrome deb on Google's website does automatically). While I couldn't find a Chrome PPA on launchpad.net, just the Chromium one, I did find [url="http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/ppa/google_chrome"]this[/url] mention of an official Chrome repository for Ubuntu. I can confirm that it works on Debian Wheezy, which probably means that it works on virtually every Debian based distribution.

Also, I didn't know about those differences between Chrome and Chromium. I knew that differences exist, I just didn't know what they were. I use Chromium exclusively as a backup browser because I much prefer the customization of Firefox (Iceweasel if you really want to get technical).

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[quote name='xorangekiller' timestamp='1353467772' post='595338288']
ViperAFK, you can still add a repository for it (which I believe the Chrome deb on Google's website does automatically). While I couldn't find a Chrome PPA on launchpad.net, just the Chromium one, I did find [url="http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/ppa/google_chrome"]this[/url] mention of an official Chrome repository for Ubuntu. I can confirm that it works on Debian Wheezy, which probably means that it works on virtually every Debian based distribution.
[/quote]
Downloading the official .deb (or rpm if you are on fedora or suse) from google and installing it automatically does indeed add the official chrome repo for you, so its kept up to date automatically. Once you install it since it adds that repo you can also easily change channels by doing sudo apt-get install google-chrome-beta or sudo apt-get install google-chrome dev.

I find this much easier than using chromium + ppa's... Chromes repo is also kept up to date in a very timely manner since its right from google. This is one instance where going out and downloading a deb is better, but I agree for the most part just sticking to the software center is the best way to go.
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My Work Machine is Dual-boot Windows 7 / OpenSuSe (Use both about the same, Windows 7 a tad more)

My Home Machines are:
Gaming: Dual-boot Windows 7 / OpenSuSe 12 (Mostly use Windows 7; gaming)
Netbook: Ubuntu 12 (Unity)

I prefer Windows 7 over OpenSuSe
I prefer OpenSuse over Ubuntu (Unity)
I prefer any of those over Windows 8

I will most likely (over time) become exclusively a Linux guy since I don't like where MS is headed right now. We don't need another Apple, sorry MS.

If you don't like Unity you can use Mint which is basically a Ubuntu Fork I hear. Never used it though.

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my ubuntu servers me well its a nice thing to play around with ... I use it for web dev, java, forensics(ish), remote management and i try to C# on it but im still failing ... either way its an awesome OS and you just need to find the flavor for you

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[quote name='patseguin' timestamp='1353458585' post='595337936']
Well, I have Mint installed in a VMWare Box. Linux is very difficult to install driver or software on. I had to Google command line commends to ge the nVidia drivers and even that failed somehow because I am now stuck on 640 X 480. I also downloaded Chrome and I found out you can't just double click on a downloaded file to install it. It still seems very advanced and only for the very computer savvy, nowhere near ready for prime time.
[/quote]Does VMWare emulate an NVidia card? You probably don't want to install regular video card drivers in a virtual machine. That's irrelevant of the OS being ran there. I only know Virtual Box, but VMWare may have something akin to VBox's [i]guest additions[/i] - essentially a bunch of drivers for the virtual machine. Look into that. Or just switch to Virtual Box, it's free and runs Linux great.

As for installing software, you don't necessarily need to learn console commands. Open the package manager, search for your app there, check the box, click apply and you're good to go. The process is a bit painful to learn at first but it is very convenient, when it works. It's actually a better installation experience than on Windows where every product has a different download page with potentially many fake download buttons, often includes unwanted software and all use different installers. Here it's just one UI for all apps. The problem is that when it doesn't have the app you're looking for, or only has an outdated version of it, well then your world really starts to suck.
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[quote name='xorangekiller' timestamp='1353466642' post='595338234']


Although I'm just guessing based on the information you gave, I can probably tell you what your problem is: you are approaching your Mint install as if it were Windows. In Linux, you very rarely want to download software directly from the vendor's website. For example, if I wanted to install the proprietary nVidia driver in Ubuntu, I would install it from the repository using a command like [i]sudo apt-get install nvidia-current[/i] instead of downloading the binary blob from nvidia.com. Similarly, instead of downloading and installing Chrome directly from www.google.com/chrome, I would use [i]sudo apt-get install chromium-current[/i].

As a new user, however, its very unlikely that you prefer typing commands into terminal as I do. Unfortunately, that is something that often turns off new users and gives them the impression that Linux distros are difficult to use. That's not the case at all; its just that more experienced users often prefer CLI to GUI (and terminal commands are far easier and more concise to give over the Internet). In Ubuntu (and probably Mint as well since its Ubuntu based), you can easily search and install software using the Software Center. If you prefer a more powerful graphical interface to the repository, you can also install Synaptic Package Manager and use that instead of, or in addition to, Software Center.

While it may take a little while to get used to, installing software from the repository has several benefits. First, its easy. You don't need to go hunting for software or worry about downloading download.com's download manager just to get your programs. Second, updates are centralized. Instead of needing to use the updaters built into each piece of software you can merely update the repository (which is done automatically once every other day in Ubuntu by default) and install updates. Third, security and program integration are managed by your distribution. Any piece of software in the repository is theoretically guaranteed by the maintainers of your distribution to be secure and work properly with your system. Its a different way of thinking, but it works well (in my opinion much better than the traditional Windows approach) once you adjust to it.

[b]Edit:[/b] Ah, I was too slow again. ViperAFK and Mindovermaster beat me to it.I know is kinda long, but [i]please read my post anyway.[/i]
[/quote]

Thanks for this great post. It sounds like I should try Ubuntu, especially since my Linux mint seems to be all messed up.

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I tried to post something here, but why can't the code/quote feature just actually be plain text?

I mean this: it doesn't save anything to clip http links, given current bandwidth. Why not let code/plain-text bits be actually real stretches of code or plain text? Why mangle any http link there?

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[quote name='patseguin' timestamp='1353477132' post='595338514']
Thanks for this great post. It sounds like I should try Ubuntu, especially since my Linux mint seems to be all messed up.
[/quote]

You can use whatever you want to use. Vmware however does not need Nvidia drivers to set up your video. It might need the tools.
I have Ubuntu Ultimate 12.04 set up in vmware because some of the graphics did not work in VirtualBox and I have it running at my native 1920x1200 screen resolution without any Nvidia drivers at all.
I do have the Vmware tools installed through.

Usually setting Linux up in a VM is a lot easier than setting it up natively, because Windows does the hardware for you and the virtual machine translates them to Linux. I have been able to print from Linux just by setting up the printer.
I have used many USB devices because they hook up to Windows and the VM translates them to Linux. It just works better for me anyway.

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[quote name='Yogurtmaster' timestamp='1353485352' post='595338658']
Usually setting Linux up in a VM is a lot easier than setting it up natively, because Windows does the hardware for you and the virtual machine translates them to Linux. I have been able to print from Linux just by setting up the printer.
I have used many USB devices because they hook up to Windows and the VM translates them to Linux. It just works better for me anyway.
[/quote]

Linux used to be like this but is so much different now

for example i have Fedora
[list]
[*]I plugged in my Canon MP170 and it installed automatically
[*]downloading files and double clicking them will do the same as window, if it know what program to use it will use it if it does not it will ask you what program you want to use
[*]the installation was straightforward and it does everything itself (unless your dual booting then you need to tell it where to install
[/list]


So many people have used linux 5 yrs or so ago and had a bad experience and just give up with it

Its a new system to use you need to learn how to use it the same as you would with anything new

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I set up Linux mint fine in Vmware 8.x with no problems on resolution. Now I can't share the clipboard if I don't install the vmware tools in Linux Mint. I downloaded Linux Mint 14 64-bit mate version directly from the website.
I downloaded the ISO and installed it into a VMware disk and it works great. I am now at 1920x1200 widescreen full screen resolution and I just went into the display settings and set the resolution using the GUI, just like you would on Windows and it works great.
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[quote name='Haggis' timestamp='1353487563' post='595338672']
Linux used to be like this but is so much different now

for example i have Fedora[list]
[*]I plugged in my Canon MP170 and it installed automatically
[*]downloading files and double clicking them will do the same as window, if it know what program to use it will use it if it does not it will ask you what program you want to use
[*]the installation was straightforward and it does everything itself (unless your dual booting then you need to tell it where to install
[/list]



So many people have used linux 5 yrs or so ago and had a bad experience and just give up with it

Its a new system to use you need to learn how to use it the same as you would with anything new
[/quote]



Yeah, I know it's evolved over time, however he doesn't really have to install any video drivers himself because it's all done by the VM software.
Too many people think Windows vs Linux, that is crap. Maybe for somethings you have to do that, but I can run both at the same time.

In fact, you can run MacOS X 10.8, any flavor of Linux and Windows all at the same time if you have enough ram for the VM process.
He has 24 Gigs, I only have 16 and I want 32 for a ramdisk. Putting a VM into a ramdisk and writing back to an SSD when you are done would be awesome!

If I want to experiment, I can download a flavor of Linux in my VM and get started right away. I don't have to deal with much when it comes to drivers at all.

Virtual Machines are the bomb.

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[quote name='ViperAFK' timestamp='1353467173' post='595338262']
Downloading chrome right from google gives you a few advantages over chromium though :) (integrated pdf reader, integrated pepper flash, extra html5 codecs)
[/quote]

The versions of Chromium packaged with most Linux software repositories are woefully out of date as well, I think they're still on version 18

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Well, I got Chrome installed but not my latest nVidia drivers. I download them and can't just double click to install them. I found some instructions online about using command line to install from a repo but all that did is mess up the system and now it won't do anything other than 640 X 480. Why would vNvdia even have Linux drivers for download if you can't install them?

I'll try Ubuntu when I get home, maybe it'll be better..

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[quote name='patseguin' timestamp='1353510659' post='595339252']
Well, I got Chrome installed but not my latest nVidia drivers. I download them and can't just double click to install them. I found some instructions online about using command line to install from a repo but all that did is mess up the system and now it won't do anything other than 640 X 480. Why would vNvdia even have Linux drivers for download if you can't install them?

I'll try Ubuntu when I get home, maybe it'll be better..
[/quote]

In the latest linux mint 14 and ubuntu 12.10 to install the nvidia drivers there is an inbuilt GUI in "Software Sources". Its just a few clicks and it automatically installs them:

In older ubuntu/mint versions its a separate application called additional drivers. (It was a lot more discoverable when it was, I don't know why they decided to move it into the somewhat obscure sounding "software sources", its not a surprise you didn't think to look there) This screenshot is from my linux mint 14 system. Its in the same place in ubuntu 12.10:

[attachment=322034:Screenshot from 2012-11-21 10:25:24.png]

The above is the proper way to install nvidia drivers on ubuntu and most ubuntu based distros. The driver on nvidia's site is a .run file which you can't just double click and install. The only files you can double click and install on ubuntu are .deb files. (instead you need to open the terminal, cd to the folder with the .run file and do: sudo ./nvidia-installer-filename-here.) But you should never need to install the driver this way in ubuntu.

I'm not sure exactly what commandline instructions you previously used, but maybe they messed something up.

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Using Ubuntu 12.10 here. Easy to use, fast, very customisable (as are all Linux distros), and lots of great free software available. I really like the dash as well - it's a hub for everything.

[quote name='Dr_Asik' timestamp='1353441666' post='595337208']
Windows had worse releases than Windows 8 and kept its predominance just fine.[/quote]

Only by virtue of the oem monopoly Microsoft has. That's how Windows gets installed on millions of PCs. Something different is happening this time though. Microsoft is burning its bridges by competing directly with its oems. I foresee more PCs with Linux preinstalled on the horizon. And once users realise that they don't need Microsoft or Windows anymore, which is already happening in the mobile market, then the Windows monopoly will be broken.

[quote name='Dr_Asik' timestamp='1353441666' post='595337208']
If Windows 8 doesn't succeed, people will just stay with Windows 7 for the next few years, there's no "shift to Linux", never was, never will be (at least in the foreseeable future).[/quote]

Anyone buying a new PC doesn't have the option of "staying with Windows 7". For them, Windows 8 will be an unpleasant shock to the system, one I'm willing to bet will be too much for them to take, and they'll end returning it. The success of Windows 8 lies in the hands of consumers buying new PCs, not power users who can build their own PCs and install whatever they like.

So oems have a real opportunity here to break their addiction to Microsoft and Windows, and open up the market to real competition. The next six months should be interesting.

I think Ubuntu is in a good position to take the preinstalled market by storm. Especially now that companies like Valve are really investing in the Linux ecosystem.

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[quote name='patseguin' timestamp='1353510659' post='595339252']
Well, I got Chrome installed but not my latest nVidia drivers. I download them and can't just double click to install them. [/quote]Please read my post above. You're on a [b]virtual machine[/b]. It [b]doesn't have[/b] an nVidia video card.

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[quote]Only by virtue of the oem monopoly Microsoft has. That's how Windows gets installed on millions of PCs. Something different is happening this time though. Microsoft is burning its bridges by competing directly with its oems. I foresee more PCs with Linux preinstalled on the horizon. And once users realise that they don't need Microsoft or Windows anymore, which is already happening in the mobile market, then the Windows monopoly will be broken.[/quote]This is wishful thinking. Linux on desktop has failed and continues to fail due to its own flaws, and if the Linux community doesn't recognize this they'll ever stay an insignificant player in the desktop space. Even if Windows 8 doesn't succeed, that doesn't make Linux any more attractive. It has been tried before, and we've heard all this talk about the year of Linux every year including when Vista was released which was a much worse version than Windows 8 - Windows 8 has annoying UI flaws but no major compatibility problem.
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[quote name='Dr_Asik' timestamp='1353522273' post='595339802']
This is wishful thinking. Linux on desktop has failed and continues to fail due to its own flaws, and if the Linux community doesn't recognize this they'll ever stay an insignificant player in the desktop space. Even if Windows 8 doesn't succeed, that doesn't make Linux any more attractive. It has been tried before, and we've heard all this talk about the year of Linux every year including when Vista was released which was a much worse version than Windows 8 - Windows 8 has annoying UI flaws but no major compatibility problem.
[/quote]

A Horrible UI can make even stable/compatible things suck though. Windows 8 could do worse than Vista soley due to the UI. I am not saying that Linux will take over Windows on a desktop market. On a handheld/mobile market yes (in a way it already has). However.. that said like MacOS Linux will gain some share, and will get more backers. I am sure many people (myself included) would not have started looking at Linux as an option before 8 came out.

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[quote name='firey' timestamp='1353523454' post='595339846']
A Horrible UI can make even stable/compatible things suck though. Windows 8 could do worse than Vista soley due to the UI.[/quote]People can learn their way around a new UI. They can't get around incompatible devices and BSODs. That's why Windows 8 is a better release than Vista.
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[quote name='Dr_Asik' timestamp='1353524765' post='595339892']
People can learn their way around a new UI. They can't get around incompatible devices and BSODs. That's why Windows 8 is a better release than Vista.
[/quote]

Vista never gave me a BSOD. And a new UI is one thing, but to learn it you have to enjoy using it enough to actually learn it. The time I have spent using it was just plain confusing and facepalm worthy. I used to use non-official drivers on vista, and it worked a-ok. I am not comparing 8 to vista. I think MS dropped the UI Ball with 8, and I am not alone in feeling that way, and I definitely feel that the more companies start pushing mobile/touch and leaving the desktop space.. the more we will see linux based OS's filling the void.

I would use Linux over 8 any day. Granted I'd use 7 over Linux any day.

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